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“We need everyone to be part of the effort to eliminate violence against women and girls, so that more and more people will collectively act in their communities”

 

Meet Cheper from Indonesia.

As a young boy, Cheper questioned why it was acceptable for his father to beat his mother. He’s now 30 and continues to works tirelessly alongside his wife to protect his daughter and all girls from violence in his community in eastern Indonesia.

“I believe everyone can make a difference – and I started with myself.

Growing up, my mother was often beaten by my father. From an early age, I couldn’t believe this was considered normal and was accepted by my community.

As I got older, I was under pressure from the village to marry a young girl. My wife and I got married when she was still in school. At that time, I did not realise that I had married a child – but now I regret marrying her at such a young age. I realise I’d crushed her dreams.

I am now a fierce advocate for challenging what’s seen as normal – violence against women and girls, including child marriage, is not acceptable. I have produced films with my village to share my story, and spend my days talking in schools to highlight the negative effects of child marriage.

But we need commitment from everyone: not just our community, but also the government, religious leaders, and community leaders to fight child marriage. We need everyone to be part of the effort to eliminate violence against women and girls, so that more and more people will collectively act in their communities.

The name we gave to our daughter contains a prayer, and I hope that she will succeed in her education and can continue the fight to address these issues in society. My hope for the future is that my daughter, or any girl, won’t have to go through what my wife has gone through. We have to do something, however small; rather than doing nothing at all.”

SHARE Cheper’s story and #SayEnough: Together we can end violence against women and girls.

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